Update Hymn Book

The decisions made by Synod 2013 have a significant impact on the musical notation. This means that a revision of the 85 Hymnbook required more work and a new release will therefore not be available until a later date.

Singing Psalms now worth 30 million dollars…?


People were supposed to sing these Psalms using only 13 different melodies (maybe our upcoming Synod should consider this, seeing that they have to decide what to do all the “difficult genevan tunes”).

In North America, the first war was about psalm singing vs hymn singing, and the Bay Psalter (psalms-only) was at the center of it. 

Here is more background: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/december-web-only/bay-psalm-book.html?paging=off

Interesting that Psalm 137 is quoted as a reason why Psalm singing was not appreciated anymore, and hence disappeared. I guess that the same argument can be used today about Psalm137 in our own Book of Praise… But hopefully we don’t lose the war…


TWU Concert – April 12 2013

The choirs of Trinity Western University are making music in our church. This concert is part of a series. This is exciting because the are also using our Casavant organ, which will be played by Edward Norman.

The program includes uplifting ancient and modern choral music featuring works by Handel, Mendelssohn, Halley, Hogan, and the Bernstein Chichester Psalms.

In Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms the organ takes the role of the orchestra. An important role is given to the the harp. Bernstein completed the harp parts before composing the accompanying orchestral and choral parts, thus granting the harpists a pivotal role in realizing the music. In rehearsals, Bernstein is noted to have requested that the harpists play through the piece before the rest of the orchestra to emphasize the importance of the harp’s role. The harp is played by Esther Cannon.

The Chichester Psalms are featuring the following Psalms: 108, 100, 23, 131, and 133. All sung in Hebrew.


85 Hymns Accompaniment book – New Printing

Although the current printing of the hymn book is sold out, many people have inquired since. At this moment I am preparing the changes proposed by the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise. Their report to Synod 2013 (can be found on www.canrc.org) includes a number of changes to the music notation as requested by the churches.

As soon as the decisions are known, the files will be submitted to the printer and if their schedule is favourable, the “85 Hymns Accompaniment Book – 2013″ could be available at the end of May.

A this moment I don’t know how many copies will be printed. If you would be interested in a copy please let me know.

Psalms and Hymns Weekend in Vernon BC


This weekend, March 8 and 9, 2013 I hope to be in the Interior. At the Canadian Reformed Church at Vernon there is an evening of singing and listening on Friday night. The hymns have changed in the 2010 Book of Praise and Synod 2013 is has a report that proposes some changes again.

How does a church deal with changes to the songbook? How are the hymns now or then supposed to be sung? How do you lean new or unknown tunes? How does an organist/pianist teach the congregation? How can the accompaniment help, push and move the singing?

I plan to prove that the Vernon congregation is a very capable congregation when it comes to singing. The easiest way of doing that is using the Psalms, known or unknown.

Then I hope to talk about the history of the Genevan tunes as well, and demonstrate the relationship with Gregorian chant, and sing some Psalms in rounds.

Saturday morning is going to be practical at the keyboard for anyone who is interested in accompaniment. What we are dealing with then will help anyone who accompanies singing, for example the bible study group at home on the piano.